MESSENGERS OF PEACE

first_imgA serious challenge to the stability, peace and security that Liberia now enjoys, is the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. The ECOWAS convention which seeks to curb the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in West Africa was adopted by Heads of Member States ten years ago and since then a number of community based project have been initiated in country for its implementation.The other day, I was reminded by one of the volunteer peace messengers of an old Liberian expression that goes like this, “Baboon will share cola nut” which translates literarily to ‘brutality looms when peace settlement fails.” Similarly, we subject ourselves to crisis, if we keep our small arms and light weapons. Nearly every day, in countries where small arms are not under strict control, people are killed or injured as a result of uncontrolled small arms and light weapons. We are all witnesses to the current happenings in France, Belgium, Mali and Tunisia. Back home, we have noticed the rise in armed robberies and the use of small weapons.The Liberia National Commission on Small Arms, known as LiNCSA is responsible to registering and marking all small arms and weapons. The LiNCSA is established to help keep Liberia safe and secure.In order to prevent large-scale emergencies, we need to strengthen the core capacities of our Army, Police, Immigration (BIN) Customs and Corrections officers to detect and respond rapidly to small arms transfers. Turning blind eyes to small arms and light weapons transfers in particularly porous border crossing, as we most often tend to do with our neighbors is never the way to control small arms. According to the Chairman of LiNCSA, “It is our ardent hope that there will be greater cooperation amongst state security institutions for the consolidation of peace in the country.”The worst sin an individual can commit is to harm others with small arms intended only for trained military personnel. We need to play a role in the control of small arms by reporting it. As young people, it’s crucial that weapons are not transported into Liberia and Liberians should not keep arms in their homes.The challenges ahead are huge but not insurmountable. There is the need to put in place legal and regulatory frameworks for effective small arms control, build capacity of security agencies and hot spot communities as well as manage our border communities. If you observe, hear or see anything that risks the peace of this country, report it to security forces that have the mandate to deal with it. Illicit possession of small arms is illegal and should be strongly discouraged among everyone particularly young people.In the months ahead, it’s particularly important that the lessons learned from other countries and the synergies among participating countries are translated into concrete actions. An awareness campaign is in the offing for the control of small arms and the support of all Liberians would be needed to ensure a successful campaign. The control of small arms and light weapons in Liberia is a matter of national priority.Until next week when we continue our series on the involvement of youth in peace and security issues, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace Prevail in our generation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Organic seed to grow Klein Karoo

first_img30 December 2005New legislation will require organic farmers to use only organically produced seed to grow crops and feed livestock, but no one in South Africa produces 100% organic seed. Now empowerment company Diverse International has taken the gap in the market and set up a community seed production project in the Klein Karoo, an area hit hard by poverty and unemployment. The project, known as the Klein Karoo Organic Initiative (KKOI), will improve the lives of the people of Zoar, a tiny village between Ladismith and Calitzdorp in the Western Cape. Chairperson Liz Eglington says the project, run from the farm Amalienstein, will create jobs and alleviate poverty by producing and marketing organically produced fruit and vegetables.Most of the world’s organic producers use non-organic seed in their operations. But pending South African legislation will soon restrict fruit, vegetable, herb and cereal producers to using only certified organic seed if they wish to maintain their certified organic status. Even the feed used in organic animal production will have to be produced from organic seed.Unfortunately, there is no organic seed available in South Africa. Empowerment group Diverse International identified this shortage as a market opportunity and launched the National Organic Seed Project.The group has spent over four years planning the project and has established partnerships and relationships with various government departments, seed companies, overseas buyers and funding organisations to support the project. They lacked only the farmers to grow the seed.Zoar is ideally situated for organic seed production, given the Klein Karoo’s dry climate. The mountains that separate the valleys help prevent contamination from neighbouring non-organic farms.Klein Karoo ideal for organicsOnly a few places in the world are suitable for organic seed production. The Klein Karoo, with its dry climate, is one such place and is already one of the country’s largest seed-producing regions.It is also ideally situated for organic production because several mountain ranges separate the land, helping prevent agrichemical contamination and cross-pollination from neighbouring non-organic farms.Diverse International approached the KKOI to spearhead the project because they were already involved in organic production in the area.Eglington believes the project will do more than benefit commercial farmers – it will transform the entire Klein Karoo.“Many small-scale farmers in the Klein Karoo are struggling to survive, never mind remain sustainable, and most lack access to markets,” she says. “But farmers can be empowered through the production of organic seed. Organic seed can even be produced in people’s backyards and then sold to a central marketing agent.”The first step in realising this dream is to set up a training centre to teach farmers organic seed production techniques. Initially, Eglington and her KKOI colleagues wanted to buy a farm from which to provide the training. But they found this was too expensive, and it would be better to conduct the training on an existing farm. After thorough analysis and research, Amalienstein was identified as the most suitable project site.Amalienstein is owned by the South African government, and was made available to the Zoar community under the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development programme. Unfortunately, the 7 000ha farm currently runs at a substantial loss. Of the 5 000 people living in the community, fewer than 30% are employed on the farm.“There isn’t any work here,” says Hendrik January, chairperson of the Zoar Community Trust. “A handful of people are employed at Amalienstein and on other farms in the area. The rest of the people depend on seasonal and piece work.”Small-scale farmers are organic farmersAmalienstein is ideal for the National Seed Project as it already has the required infrastructure and the storage facilities. Existing enterprises on the farm, such as the dairy and small-scale farming projects, will continue, but as organic projects.James Jacobs, a Zoar Community Trust member, says most small-scale farmers are already farming organically because they cannot afford agrichemicals. For most of these farmers the switch to organic farming will be natural.“The organic seed initiative will have many spinoffs for the community,” Jacobs says. It will not alleviate poverty – it will eradicate it.”Eglington believes the project will create many job opportunities, and not only in agricultural production.“Our vision is to turn the entire Zoar community into an organic village,” she says. “First we want to set up the organic training centre. To do this we will need trainers and administrative staff. Compost, compost teas, organic sprays, pesticides, repellants and fertilisers will be made from material sourced from Amalienstein. This will create job opportunities in the making and marketing of these products.”The farm will produce organic seed and seedlings for international and local markets, while vegetables and fruit, and other byproducts of seed production, will be sold or consumed locally. The production of value-added organic products, such as herbal and medicinal plants, essential oils, soaps and even cosmetics, is also planned. This will again provide production as well as marketing and processing opportunities.Community ownershipEglington emphasises that KKOI and Diverse International don’t want to take over Amalienstein.“We need a training centre and Diverse International needs seed. But we want the community to take ownership of the project and benefit from it. We will supply expertise and support as long as the community needs it.”As Amalienstein is owned by the government, KKOI will require approval before it starts anything new on the farm. Eglington has met with Western Cape agriculture MEC Cobus Dowry and says he’s willing to look at the feasibility document of using Amalienstein for the seed project. She says Dowry wants the entire Zoar community to buy into the project before approving it.Kannaland district mayor Magdalene Barry is optimistic the project will take off.“Zoar is sitting on a goldmine,” she says. “All the community leaders have bought into the dream. Now we only need the community to vote and commit to the project – and that will be easy since the benefits of the project are very transparent and people have been suffering under poverty for a long time.”This article was originally published in Farmer’s Weekly, South Africa’s premier national agricultural magazine, and is reproduced on SouthAfrica.info with kind permission.last_img read more

London calling: UK regulator creates new IoT spectrum license

first_imgFollow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Related Posts British communications regulator Ofcom has announced plans to create a new spectrum license for Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.The license will use very high frequency (VHF) bands, including 55-68MHz, 70.5-71.5MHz, and 80.5-81.5MHz, according to Computing.co.uk. These bands are typically used for audio purposes and are usually quite cheap compared to low-frequency bands favored by LTE mobile carriers.See Also: 6 Ways Analytics And The Internet of Things Will Transform BusinessOfcom published a consultation in September last year to figure out if these VHF bands were suitable for IoT and M2M networks, and concluded earlier this month that the bands were suitable.Some of the VHF bands are connected to existing Business Radio license products, which will be discontinued in favor of opening the spectrum to IoT and M2M investment. The use of these bands for IoT will not affect any other networks, Ofcom said.Ofcom also plans to launch a dedicated webpage for anyone looking to use the spectrum for IoT or M2M applications. The webpage will feature information and guides, alongside contact details.Spectrum license a good sign of future UK investmentThe UK government announced in the 2015 budget a USD$14 million grant for an Internet of Things think-tank, alongside investments into automation, drones, and other new technology. It has also removed regulations surrounding these new types of technology, which has made the UK a hotspot for new developer and engineering firms.Getting more spectrum is always a good sign for an emerging industry, especially one like IoT, which requires a decent amount of Internet capacity to make everything work.The growth of IoT and M2M in the next few years will be huge, according to Gartner and IDC that project over 26 billion smart devices in the year 2020. For those smart devices to all communicate together without delay, we’ll need a lot of network space, which the UK government seems happy to give.center_img David Curry Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#M2M#Ofcom#Spectrum#UK#VHF What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

IDF Beijing 2010 – Blog Report

first_imgMy morning video blog report for IDF Beijing 2010. It’s two hours before the keynote start and people are getting ready for the big event. The public is waitting outside and sessions speakers are meeting up and getting ready.Ylianopentools.homeip.netlast_img

Gremio: No Barcelona deal for Arthur

first_imgTransfers Gremio refute claims of €40m Arthur agreement with Barcelona Ryan Benson 02:23 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) arthur-cropped Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Grêmio Primera División Serie A The young midfielder Arthur has been linked with a move to Camp Nou, but speculation suggesting a deal has been struck is supposedly false. Reports of a €40million agreement between Gremio and Barcelona for midfielder Arthur are wide of the mark, according to the Brazilian club’s president Romildo Bolzan.Barcelona’s interest in the 21-year-old midfielder is long-standing, having been linked with him regularly towards the end of 2017, when Arthur was a key part of the Gremio side which won the Copa Libertadores.Arthur was photographed wearing the Catalan club’s jersey in a meeting with their sporting director Robert Fernandez in December. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Although that angered Gremio, they have been in regular dialogue with Barca ever since over a potential move, with reports in Spain claiming on Tuesday that an agreement had finally been made.But Gremio insists such claims are purely speculation, with a deal still to be struck.Speaking to Radio Bandeirantes, Bolzan said: “A deal has still not been finalised.”There have been plenty of discussions, but at this stage the transfer cannot be considered a foregone conclusion.”last_img read more

WATCH: USYNT’s Weah nearly scores on PSG debut

first_imgPSG VIDEO: U.S. youth international Weah nearly scores on PSG debut Ben Valentine Last updated 1 year ago 02:27 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Timothy Weah PSG Troyes Getty Images PSG Ligue 1 Troyes v PSG Troyes United States The 18-year-old came on for the final 15 minutes of the Ligue 1 leaders victory over Troyes United States youth international Timothy Weah has made his first-team debut for Paris Saint-Germain, as he came on a substitute in the club’s 2-0 victory over Troyes.With PSG missing star attackers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and Unai Emery deciding to rest other attackers with the club’s second leg against Real Madrid happening midweek, the 18-year-old forward was named to the bench for the Ligue 1 leaders.And with PSG leading 2-0 in the 79th minute, Weah was given his first run out with the senior team, coming on for Giovani Lo Celso. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp George Weah’s 18-year-old son, Timothy, has come on for PSG against Troyes The future is bright #USMNT pic.twitter.com/Tx0aMaMnb5— Goal USA (@GoalUSA) March 3, 2018Weah nearly secured a dream debut as well, as he was put in 1v1 against Troyes goalkeeper Erwin Zelazny just before the final whistle. Coming in at an angle, Weah but a hard shot into Zelazny, before a scramble in the area lead to a goal for Dani Alves that was ruled out due to offside.It could’ve been the dream start for PSG’s Timothy Weah!A good save, or should he have done better there? pic.twitter.com/tR3iRD9iew— Goal USA (@GoalUSA) March 3, 2018The son of former FIFA Player of the Year, and current president of Liberia, George Weah, Timothy has featured for PSG youth and reserve teams over the past few years since departing the United States after representing the New York Red Bulls developmental academy. His debut came over 22 years after his father’s last appearance for PSG, which came in May 1995 after four seasons with the capital club.Tim Weah has represented the U.S. at the youth national team level, scoring a hat trick at the under-17 World Cup against Paraguay in 2017.last_img read more

Pele impressed by Tite ahead of World Cup

first_imgWorld Cup Pele impressed by Tite’s ability to cope with Brazil’s modern challenges Peter Hanson 08:00 17/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Tite-cropped Getty Images World Cup Russia v Brazil Germany v Brazil Brazil v Switzerland Brazil The ex-Corinthians coach has made a brilliant start in one of football’s most demanding jobs, qualifying with ease for Russia 2018 Brazil coach Tite has a more difficult job to do than many of his national team predecessors, according to Selecao legend Pele. Tite was appointed to the top job in June 2016 after Dunga was dismissed following Brazil’s poor showing at the Copa America Centenario.The 56-year-old has drawn plenty of plaudits for Brazil’s performances under his stewardship and the team is considered among the favourites for World Cup glory in Russia this year. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Brazil’s latest 25-man squad for friendlies with Russia and Germany includes just three domestic-based players, and Pele sympathised with the challenges Tite faces.”I don’t want to say that I was the one that supported Tite the most, and it’s not because I wasn’t sure of what he could accomplish, no one can say for a fact what is going to happen but God, only God knows what is going to happen in the future,” he told ESPN. “But Tite, whenever I was with him or talked to him, I could feel he is a serious person with a lot of character. He always talked with confidence. He could even make mistakes as no one is perfect. “But he said something that really made sense to me about our national team in the 70s and 80s. “Tite said ‘Pele, if I have the chance to become the coach of Brazil, and stay there for a while, I want to build a team that will be able to compete for two or three years, so everyone can better understand each other’.”Furthermore, in a fun tone, he said ‘I can’t build a team like the ones you were part of. Back in your day, the best players of Brazil didn’t leave the country to play overseas. Only a few players went on to play abroad. Even you, during your 25-year career played all those years in Brazil, you only left at the end of your career, when you played for the New York Cosmos.”To manage the national team at that time was easy. The players were excellent so it was easier to build the national team. In our modern age, I need scouts everywhere. Three to four Brazilian players are playing in each part of the world. It is harder now, but I want to build a team that can be steady.’ “And I liked a lot what he had to say, I pray to God that he can accomplish his goals.”last_img read more

Spencer Sanders Talks Family, Faith and His Love for Small-Town Life

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Friday, the Oklahoma State football Twitter account shared a Dru Brown mini-feature, but Saturday, it was Spencer Sander’s turn.What really matters to @SpenceSanders. #GoPokes #okstate pic.twitter.com/ExZAYsK6Vg— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) July 27, 2019As with Brown, Sanders mentions his family and faith before going into details about what he likes about OSU and Stillwater. He also talks a great deal about leadership.“This culture here, this environment that is surrounded just off of this university, fits me perfectly,” Sanders said. “Coming here and learning from these coaching staffs and just listening to all these motivational speeches, I’ve learned that everything I thought I couldn’t do or the things that I let stop me is just a mental fear.“I have to be the best leader that I can be for this team because if I’m slacking in my role, I could give a chain reaction to slack somewhere else. I don’t want to be that type of influence on anybody on this team. I want to be known for a great leader, and I want my teammates to come to me for anything that they want to talk about. And I’ll always be there for them.”Sanders also brought up the fact that he didn’t see the field at all in 2018, despite being such a highly touted recruit.“I know a lot of people wanted me to play last year, and I thank them for that, but I feel like last year really helped me grow as a person,” Sanders said. “To show me that there is more to football than just football. It helped me become a leader and a better person for my family and the people around me.”last_img read more

Gundy on the Pros and Cons of Having Two Quarterbacks Entering the Season

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. STILLWATER — The Cowboys’ season opener against Oregon State is 17 days out, and the Pokes have yet to name a starting quarterback.OSU coach Mike Gundy met with the media Tuesday, where the quarterbacks weren’t made available, and Gundy said nothing is different in regards to the quarterback race from his last meeting with reporters. Gundy said what he has said throughout the process this fall: Spencer Sanders and Dru Brown are getting better each day.Gundy was asked when the duo splitting practice reps starts to become a concern.“It started last spring,” Gundy said. “And it doesn’t go away for me. Mine and Sean (Gleeson’s) opinion hasn’t changed. If you clearly have a player that’s better than the other, you play him. If not, you have to play both guys. History tells you that you’re gonna end up playing both of them anyway.”In the past Gundy has needed multiple quarterbacks because of injury, but it hasn’t been that way recently. In the past three seasons, OSU’s backup quarterback hasn’t thrown more than 10 passes.From 2012 to 2015, though, Gundy has needed at least two guys.2015: Gundy used Mason Rudolph and J.W. Walsh, using Walsh more as a short-yardage guy. Walsh also started that seasons Bedlam game for an injured Rudolph.2014: Walsh played only two games before missing the season with injury. That started the short Daxx Garman era. Garman appeared in nine games that season before falling to the injury bug, which started Rudolph’s career as a true freshman.2013: This was the last time Gundy had a quarterback battle to the level that he is having now. Clint Chelf played in 12 games and Walsh played in eight. Chelf threw 291 balls that year to Walsh’s 190.2012: This was the three-headed dragon year of Chelf, Walsh and Wes Lunt. All three had multiple starts that season, and all three missed games entirely.Brandon Weeden was OSU’s starter all season in 2010 and 2011, and in 2009, Zac Robinson started every game except the Colorado game, where Alex Cate started the game, threw nine incompletions and an interception before making way for Weeden.So, in the past 10 years, OSU’s starting quarterback has made it all the way through the season five times, and OSU needed its backup quarterback five times (even if it was just for a game i.e. 2015 and 2009).There is data there to back up whatever side of the fence one leans toward, but there is enough evidence to support Gundy’s claim of needing two guys at some point. If there was only a 50 percent chance a starting quarterback started every game in a season, a coach would probably feel a lot more comfortable having another solid option.So, why aren’t two-quarterback systems more common?“Reps,” Gundy said. “You just don’t have enough reps to go around. … The only time we’ve ever done it is if we’re using a short-yardage guy, with the exception of Chelf and J.W. that one year because we didn’t have a clue who would be the best player.”And while it might be a good thing OSU has two guys given a possibility of injury, Gundy said the advantage of having two similar style quarterbacks sharing reps heading into the year stops there.“If it’s not a short-yardage type, nah,” Gundy said. “I don’t think so. These two guys are kind of the same. If you had two guys and one was like Mason Rudolph and one was a runner, then it’s a little different game plan. So, if he comes in, you gotta be ready for this. If he’s in, you don’t have to be ready for this, but you gotta be ready for that. I don’t really think it’s much of an advantage in my opinion. Defensive coaches may tell you different, but to me, I don’t think so.”last_img read more

Four-star California RB Daniyel Ngata Making OSU Official Visit This Weekend

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Topping the list of star recruits expected to make a visit to Stillwater this weekend in football is top-60 national recruit Daniyel Ngata, a four-star running back prospect from California.Ngata subtly announced his trip via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon in a reply to OSU quarterback pledge Shane Illingworth, who also announced he’s making the trip from California to Stillwater.I’m there with you🤝 https://t.co/snucWBu5sZ— Daniyel Ngata (@dngata2) September 25, 2019 Ngata is rated as the No. 55 overall prospect in the 2020 recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite and the No. 2 running back in the class. Listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, he’s got the Barry Sanders hop step down pat and some serious burners to boot. While that isn’t typically the size of an every down Big 12 back, he plays physically bigger than his measurements and has just about every tool in the bag: the speed, the pass-catching and the shiftiness.So…Daniyel Ngata (@dngata2) of Folsom is legit. Video proof in case you didn’t know pic.twitter.com/IgBlT5htfT— Sacramento MaxPreps (@SacMaxPreps) September 17, 2018Oklahoma State has been after Ngata since an offer came his way earlier this spring, and the staff has been heavy in pursuit since. The Cowboys are in his top five, which he announced this summer. It also includes Texas A&M, Clemson, Utah and Arizona State.Ngata is the highest-rated running back recruit OSU is still in the mix for in the 2020 cycle. The staff is also recruiting Owasso product Isaiah Jacobs, the younger brother of former Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, as well as junior college prospect La’damian Webb.last_img read more